The Bean Trees - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 1 Summary

The novel opens with a brief anecdote about Newt Harbine's father exploding a tractor tire by over inflating it. He is thrown on top of the service station sign. Mr. Harbine is not killed, but he is never the same. The Harbine family is poor and prolific. The parents do not value education and Newt leaves school, marries Jolene Shanks because she is pregnant, and toils beside his father in the tobacco fields.

The narrator, Marietta Greer, nicknamed Missy, tells the story of how she obtains a job in the lab at the local hospital. A new science teacher, Mr. Hughes Walter, announces that his wife, who is a head nurse at the hospital, needs a student to do odd jobs. Missy wants to apply for the position, but figures he will give it to a cheerleader or one of the better students. She talks it over...

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This section contains 1,146 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Bean Trees Study Guide
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The Bean Trees from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.